Video by Maryland Racing
A big chestnut whose antics on the racetrack made him a fan favorite, Point Given entered the 2001 Triple Crown with high expectations from the racing community.
The colt had won five of eight starts before the Kentucky Derby, including two of California’s biggest Grade 1 events for 2- and 3-year-olds. Point Given had just been nosed out of the 2-year-old championship when he lost the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to Macho Uno. But after that defeat, he had reeled off three straight victories, including a 5 ½-length score in the Santa Anita Derby.
“That horse is the real thing,” Howard Zucker, trainer of Craft C.T., who finished second in the Santa Anita Derby, told the New York Times. “Bet your Triple Crown money now. If this horse doesn't win the Triple Crown, there’s something wrong. I can’t say enough about this winner. He was scary when he won the San Felipe [Stakes] and he’s twice as scary now.”
Because of his record and the anticipation that he had a realistic chance to win the Triple Crown, Point Given went off at odds of 9-to-5 in the Kentucky Derby. But it wasn’t to be as the colt failed to fire, finishing fifth behind Monarchos.
“He never felt comfortable out there,” jockey Gary Stevens told the Los Angeles Times. "The odd thing about it was he didn't seem to be tired when he pulled up. He wasn't breathing hard at all. It was like he didn't race.”
But Point Given’s finish didn’t discourage his connections and they headed to Maryland to compete in the Preakness Stakes against Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. This time, the Point Given many expected to see in the Derby showed up to race and, while the colt lugged in a bit in the stretch, he won easily by 2 ¼ lengths as the 2.30-to-1 favorite.
POINT GIVEN WINNING THE 2001 PREAKNESS STAKES
Photo by HorsePhotos.com
The pressure was finally off the colt to get a classic win and he went into the Belmont Stakes having regained some of the reputation he had lost following his Kentucky Derby performance.
Like he had in the other Triple Crown races, Point Given went off as the favorite in the Belmont Stakes. This time his odds were even lower than they were in the Kentucky Derby as he left the Belmont starting gate at 1.35-to-1 odds.
Point Given dominated the race, taking the lead from Balto Star as the field moved into the far turn. Preakness second-place finisher A P Valentine tried to stay with Point Given for a few strides as they pulled away from Balto Star, but the big Preakness victor easily shook him off.
By the time Point Given hit the stretch, he had already opened up a few lengths on everyone else and continued to pull away as he approached the finish line. Point Given won by 12 ¼ lengths, registering the sixth-fastest time in Belmont Stakes history. It was the first - and to this day, only - Belmont Stakes win for trainer Bob Baffert.
POINT GIVEN AND BOB BAFFERT DURING THE COLT'S RACING CAREER
Photo by HorsePhotos.com
Baffert gave the colt two months off after his Belmont Stakes victory and pointed Point Given to the Haskell Invitational to try and get him his third straight Grade 1 victory. Point Given didn’t disappoint, although he won by the closest margin of his career, when he beat Touch Tone by just a half-length.
Exactly 20 days later, Point Given headed to the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course for the biggest 3-year-old race of the summer. He made up for his close finish in the Haskell by pulling away to win by 3 ½ lengths over E Dubai. The race was an emotional win for Point Given’s owner Prince Ahmed Salman, whose brother had died the month before due to a heart attack.
However, the colt’s career came to a halt just a week later when it was discovered that the horse had strained a tendon. While Point Given could have returned to the track after 4-to-6 months of rest, it was determined that it was in his best interest to retire him.
A few weeks later, a deal was signed to have Point Given stand at Three Chimneys in Midway, Ky., for $125,000 in 2002. Before the breeding season began, Point Given was named the 2001 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male. He retired with $3,968,500 in purse earnings and six Grade 1 victories during his 13-race career.
POINT GIVEN AT THREE CHIMNEYS FARM IN NOVEMBER 2011
Photo by Melissa Bauer-Herzog
Point Given’s stallion career showed promise from his first crop with he was represented in the 2006 Kentucky Derby by Point Determined. He also sired Pacific Classic winner Go Between.
The following crop was the year of the fillies as Point Ashley won a Grade 1 as a 2-year-old and Sealy Hill was named Canada’s Horse of the Year after winning Canada’s Filly Triple Crown. Most recently, Point Given has been known as the sire of 2011 Haskell Invitational winner Coil, who also won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in 2012 before retiring last year.
From 10 crops of racing age, Point Given has two champions and 11 graded stakes winners with $24.3 million in progeny earnings through March 26.
While Point Given’s daughters haven’t produced many foals, they already have made a splash on the racing scene. He is the broodmare sire of multiple Grade 2 winner Pomeroy’s Pistol as well as four other stakes winners.
Point Given was moved from Three Chimneys early in 2013 and currently stands at Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky.